FC TOKYO v CHONBURI FC: ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF

JOFUKU: Getting the league title is the club's biggest aim

FC Tokyo found their way to the Asian Champions League play-off via a 4th place finish in the J-League. After a great start to 2015, the loss of Yoshinori Muto severely impacted the club.

New FC Tokyo manager Hiroshi Jofuku has been quick to ‘shoosh’ any fans anticipating something big from the Gas Men in the play-off saying, “Getting the league title is the club’s biggest aim.” Their trial form has been somewhat concerning also, with a recent loss to 2nd tier Tokyo Verdy (30/1/16) and a draw with 3rd tier Ryukyu (24/1/16).

Young midfielder Shoya Nakajima is likely to be rested due to his recent commitments to the Japanese U/23s team. Of interest for outsiders will be new purchase Ha, Dae-Sung from South Korea and Aussie Nathan Burns. Ha, Dae-Sung had a trophy-less stint at Beijing Guoan, while Burns will be hoping to get more game time under the new manager.

Chonburi FC have the benefit of a ‘real’ match under their belts after a close shave with Yangon United in last week’s round of ACL play-offs. The Thai club was forced to extra time by the Myanmar outfit. Not an impressive result but they’re now battle hardened.

Word is the many new faces in the Chonburi line-up are still to gel. Amongst the new starting members are three midfielders, so it’s not surprising that cohesion was lacking in the Yangon clash. Tuesday night will represent another chance for the Sharks new arrivals to impress manager Therdsak.

With so many unknowns (two new managers, pre season form, new signings) this clash is a good one for punters to steer clear of. Chonburi won’t be lacking motivation after falling at the hands of Japanese opponents Kashiwa at the same stage last year, but will that be enough against their more acclaimed rivals?

Betting: FC Tokyo $1.22 – draw $6 – Chonburi FC $11

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